Stupid Waterboarding Stunts
posted at 12:43 am on May 30, 2009 by Doctor Zero
Radio personality Mancow Muller became the latest celebrity to have himself waterboarded, then race to the airwaves to tell the world what an awful and inhuman experience it was. Apparently he didn’t do the waterboarding procedure correctly, which reminds me of one of my favorite exchanges from “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” during their riff on a Japanese space opera called “Fugitive Alien:”
Evil Alien Stormtrooper: A little torture will wipe that smile off your face.
Hero: Not if you do it right!
The celebrity consensus appears to be that waterboarding is a terrible experience, and is therefore never justified under any circumstances – no matter what information captured terrorists might possess, or how many innocent lives are at stake. Have any celebrities volunteered to take a hit from a 50-caliber sniper rifle? That looks extremely unpleasant, too. You can find videos of it all over the Internet. The U.S. Military takes out Taliban forces in Afghanistan with such weapons on a fairly regular basis. Maybe we could put a stop to that brutality by having Keith Olbermann volunteer to get blasted into hamburger on live T.V. It would raise awareness about the awful brutality American troops display towards the innocent, peace-loving boys from the Taliban, and it’s the only way Olbermann’s show will ever get decent ratings.
You know what else looks really painful? Getting caught in a grenade blast. I’ll bet anyone who ever lived through that experience would gladly trade it for a few minutes with a wet towel on their face. Our soldiers probably tossed hundreds of pineapples while they were clearing al-Qaeda vermin… er, “activists” from their nests in Iraq. I’m waiting for a celebrity to lie down on a live grenade to more fully understand the experience. Maybe then we can start taking these implements of pain and dismemberment away from American troops, before their morals are irreparably compromised.
Come to think of it, there really isn’t any painless, utterly humane way to defeat vicious enemies in combat. Even the perfect head shots that ended the career of the Somali pirates who took Captain Phillips hostage must have put some serious chum in the water. Even if I had the marksmanship skills to pull off such a shot, I’m not sure I could do it. I don’t know if I could toss a grenade into a roomful of people, either. I’m hoping to get through the rest of my life without finding out, and I’m far from alone in hoping that. Not many of us have the courage, dedication, and self-sacrifice to undergo the military or police training to deal out death quickly and efficiently. We pass that responsibility along to the fighting men and women who have volunteered to accept it. They, in turn, train hard to develop the skills they need to win battles quickly, with minimal loss of life and collateral damage. The United States military, and the other Western armed forces, have dedicated themselves to standards of professionalism and mercy that far outstrip the rest of the world, and all the armies of previous history.
In the war against terrorism, upholding these standards requires timely intelligence. There is still debate about the value of intelligence gleaned from coercive interrogation techniques, but the preponderance of the evidence suggests that valuable intelligence has been gained this way. It would be nice if President Obama, who never misses an opportunity to tout the transparency of his administration, would release the CIA memos that could go a long way toward settling that part of the argument. In any event, it seems unlikely that crucial intelligence about impending terror attacks could be gained in any other way, especially since the Left has spent the last eight years having hysterical fits about keeping suspected terrorists under surveillance. If we can’t tap their communications or interrogate them, what should we use? Shape-shifting liquid metal robots? Telepaths?
Counter-terrorism efforts must involve military and law-enforcement power, delivered with absolute precision, to capture or eliminate terrorists who hide in civilian populations, without inflicting collateral damage. Americans currently enjoy the protection of a volunteer military force of unparalleled professionalism and skill, which is willing to do the messy, dangerous work of battling her deadly enemies. If the war against Islamic fascism continues to escalate, we may reach a time when we need more than a volunteer military. We might return to the first hours of the War on Terror, when it was fought in the aisles of commercial airliners, by men and women who only thought they were volunteering to visit relatives or attend business meetings. Let’s cut out the idiotic celebrity stunts and let the soldiers and spooks do their jobs… or, one day, we may all need to become soldiers. And if some news anchor or radio jock does feel the need to dramatically criticize intelligence gathering or combat techniques, I suggest they try subjecting themselves to the methods used by the enemy for a change. That would really drive up the ratings.